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Gaunt. To heaven, the widow's champion and defence. Duch. Why then, I will. Farewel, old Gaunt.3 Thou go'st to Coventry, there to behold
Our cousin Hereford and fell Mowbray fight:
Be Mowbray's sins so heavy in his bosom,
Gaunt. Sister, farewel: I must to Coventry:
Norfolke, by Thomas Churchyard: "— Cupid encountring the Queene, beganne to complayne hys state and his mothers," &c. Dryden also employs the word in the same sense in his Fables: "Gaufride, who couldst so well in rhyme complain "The death of Richard with an arrow slain."
Complain myself (as Mr. M. Mason observes) is a literal transtation of the French phrase, me plaindre. Steevens.
3 Why then, I will. Farewel, old Gaunt.] The measure of this line being clearly defective, why may we not read?— Now fare thee well, old Gaunt.
Why then I will.
Why then I will.
Farewel old John of Gaunt.
There can be nothing ludicrous in a title by which the King has already addressed him. Ritson.
Sir T. Hanmer completes the measure, by repeating the word -farewel, at the end of the line. Steevens.
4 A caitiff recreant -] Caitiff originally signified a prisoner; next a slave, from the condition of prisoners; then a scoundrel from the qualities of a slave:
σ' μίμισυ τῆς ἀρξης αποαίνεται δόλιον ἦμαρ.”
In this passage it partakes of all these significations. Johnson. This just sentiment is in Homer; but the learned commentator quoting, I suppose from memory, has compressed a couple into a single line:
"Hulov yap T αρετής αποαινεται ευρύοπα Ζευς
Odyss. Lib. XVII, v. 322. H. White. I do not believe that caitiff in our language ever signified a prisoner. I take it to be derived, not from captiff, but from chetif, Fr. poor, miserable. Tyrwhitt.
Duch. Yet one word more ;-Grief boundeth where it
Not with the empty hollowness, but weight:
And what cheer there" for welcome, but my groans?
The last leave of thee takes my weeping eye. [Exeunt.
Gosford-Green, near Coventry.
Lists set out, and a Throne. Heralds, &c. attending.
Enter the Lord Marshal, and AUMERLE.9
Mar. My lord Aumerle, is Harry Hereford arm'd?
5 unfurnish'd walls,] In our ancient castles the naked stone walls were only covered with tapestry, or arras, hung upon tenter hooks, from which it was easily taken down on every removal of the family. See the preface to The Household Book of the Fifth Earl of Northumberland, begun in 1512. Steevens.
• And what cheer there &c.] I had followed the reading of the folio, [hear] but now rather incline to that of the first quarto.And what cheer, there, &c. In the quarto of 1608, chear was changed to hear, and the editor of the folio followed the latter copy. Malone.
To seek out sorrow that dwells every where:] Perhaps the pointing may be reformed without injury to the sense:
let him not come there
To seek out sorrow:- -that dwells every where. Whalley.
Lord Marshal,] Shakspeare has here committed a slight mistake. The office of Lord Marshal was executed on this occasion by Thomas Holland, Duke of Surrey. Our author has in
Aum. Yea, at all points; and longs to enter in. Mar. The duke of Norfolk, sprightfully and bold, Stays but the summons of the appellant's trumpet. Aum. Why then, the champions are prepar'd, and
For nothing but his majesty's approach.
Flourish of Trumpets.
Enter King RICHARD, who takes his seat on his Throne; GAUNT, and several Noblemen, who take their places. A Trumpet is sounded, and answered by another Trumpet within.
Then enter NOR
FOLK in armour, preceded by a Herald.
K. Rich. Marshal, demand of yonder champion
To swear him in the justice of his cause.
Mar. In God's name, and the king's, say who thou
And why thou com'st, thus knightly clad in arms: Against what man thou com'st, and what thy quarrel: Speak truly, on thy knighthood, and thy oath;
And so1 defend thee heaven, and thy valour!
Nor. My name is Thomas Mowbray, duke of Norfolk;
Who hither come engaged by my oath,
advertently introduced that nobleman as a distinct person from the Marshal, in the present drama.
Mowbray Duke of Norfolk was Earl Marshal of England; but being himself one of the combatants, the Duke of Surrey officiated as Earl Marshal for the day. Malone.
9 Aumerle.] Edward Duke of Aumerle, so created by his cousin german, King Richard II, in 1397. He was the eldest son of Edward of Langley Duke of York, fifth son of King Edward the Third, and was killed in 1415, at the battle of Agincourt. He officiated at the lists of Coventry, as High Constable of England. Malone.
1 And so-] The old copies read-As so—. Steevens. Corrected by Mr. Rowe. Malone.
2 Norfolk.] Mr. Edwards, in his MS. notes, observes, from Holinshed, that the Duke of Hereford, appellant, entered the lists first; and this, indeed, must have been the regular method of the combat; for the natural order of things requires, that the accuser or challenger should be at the place of appointment first.
(Which, heaven defend, a knight should violate!)
To God, my king, and my succeeding issue,3
[He takes his seat. Trumpet sounds. Enter BOLINGBROKE, in armour; preceded by a Herald.
K. Rich. Marshal, ask yonder knight in arms,*
And formally according to our law
Depose him in the justice of his cause.
Mar. What is thy name? and wherefore com'st thou hither,
Before king Richard, in his royal lists?
Against whom comest thou? and what's thy quarrel? Speak like a true knight, so defend thee heaven!
Boling. Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby, Am I; who ready here do stand in arms,
To prove, by heaven's grace, and my body's valour,
3 my succeeding issue,] His is the reading of the first folio; other editions read-my issue. Mowbray's issue, was by this accusation, in danger of an attainder, and therefore he might come, among other reasons, for their sake: but the reading of the folio is more just and grammatical. Johnson.
The three oldest quartos read my, which Mr. M. Mason prefers, because, says he, Mowbray subjoins
"To prove him, in defending of myself,
and my succeeding issue,]. Thus the first quarto. The folio reads his succeeding issue. The first quarto copy of this play, in 1597, being in general much more correct than the folio, and the quartos of 1608, and 1615, from the latter of which the folio appears to have been printed, I have preferred the elder reading. Malone.
4 Marshal, ask yonder knight in arms,] Why not, as before: Marshal, demand of yonder knight in arms.
The player, who varied the expression, was probably ignorant that he injured the metre. The insertion, however, of two little words would answer the same purpose:
Marshal, go ask of yonder knight in arms. Ritson.
In lists, on Thomas Mowbray duke of Norfolk,
Mar. On pain of death, no person be so bold,
Appointed to direct these fair designs.
Boling. Lord marshal, let me kiss my sovereign's hand,
And bow my knee before his majesty:
For Mowbray, and myself, are like two men
And loving farewel, of our several friends.
Mar. The appellant in all duty greets your highness, And craves to kiss your hand, and take his leave.
K. Rich. We will descend, and fold him in our arms. Cousin of Hereford, as thy cause is right,
So be thy fortune in this royal fight!
Farewel, my blood; which if to-day thou shed,
My loving lord, [to lord Mar.] I take my leave of you;—
Not sick, although I have to do with death;
But lusty, young, and cheerly drawing breath.
Lo, as at English feasts, so I regreet
The daintiest last, to make the end most sweet:
O thou, the earthly author of my blood,- [To GAUNT. Whose youthful spirit, in me regenerate,
Doth with a two-fold vigour lift me up
To reach at victory above my head,—
Add proof unto mine armour with thy prayers;
-waxen coat,] Waxen may mean soft, and consequently penetrable, or flexible. The brigandines or coats of mail, then in use, were composed of small pieces of steel quilted over one ano